Here’s why 4,500 teachers were turned down for a student loan forgiveness.
Here’s what you need to know.
In what appears to be a recurring theme, 4,500 other educators were turned down for a student loan forgiveness – even though they apparently thought they met all the requirements. According to Politics:
- Over 4,500 educators have been excluded from the civil service loan forgiveness program;
- This happened in 2,700 schools; and
- in all 50 states plus Washington, DC
This large-scale rejection raises a simple question: Should teachers who teach for 10 years get automatic student loan forgiveness? These statistics suggest that the denial of student loan cancellation was not a local issue in just one school district, but a national issue. According to the latest statistics on student loan debt, the civil service loan forgiveness program has a rejection rate of 98%. According to estimates from the Student Borrower Protection Center, a leading nonprofit advocacy group, 80% of student loan borrowers will continue to be turned down for student loan forgiveness until 2026. The cancellation of student loan has become a hot issue even though there has been no student loan forgiveness scale. President Joe Biden is focused on improving student loan cancellation and repayment so that more student loan borrowers can get financial relief.
Student loan cancellation: what happened?
According to PoliticsThe reasons for the rejections ranged from incomplete or inaccurate documents to the wrong types of student loans. This despite having worked as a teacher for at least 10 years, which some believe should be enough to qualify for a full student loan forgiveness. The high rejection rate, especially when it affects civil servants such as teachers, has called into question the possibility of saving the civil service loan forgiveness program. Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness in 2007 and President George W. Bush enacted the bill. The program grants full federal student loan forgiveness to student loan borrowers who work full-time (at least 30 hours per week) for a qualified utility or non-profit employer and meet other requirements. This includes teachers, police, firefighters, first responders, nurses, doctors, military personnel, lawyers, and many other public servants who serve the public interest. For its part, the US Department of Education, headed by Secretary Miguel Cardona, has said it is committed to fixing the cancellation of student loans. Biden campaigned to reform student loan cancellation to make it less bureaucratic, more widely available, and easier to obtain over a 5-year period (rather than the current 10-year period, or 120 monthly student loan payments. ). The Department of Education held public hearings and solicited public comment on how best to fix the student loan cancellation. (Here are 17 ways Biden could fix student loan cancellation). Implementing any possible changes will take time, but the goal of the Biden administration is to align the intentions of the cancellation of public service loans with the results. This includes student loan cancellation for student loan borrowers who are duly eligible for their student loan exemption. (Here is the Democrats’ position on canceling student loans).
Student loan cancellation: the biggest mistakes
Despite the high student loan forgiveness rate, student loan borrowers make many common mistakes when requesting a public service loan forgiveness. Here are some common mistakes you can avoid:
1. Incomplete documents
It’s painfully obvious, but incomplete or inaccurate documents are enough for you to be rejected for a student loan forgiveness. Examples include submitting partial documents, material typos, missing documents, and missing dates.
Do this: Your employer must sign your Certificate of Employment form, so make sure the person signing this document is an authorized signing officer (not just your coworker).
2. Bad student loan
There are many stories of student loan borrowers who believe they meet all the requirements and work diligently for a public service employer to find that their student loan does not qualify. This could be due to not understanding the actual requirements or receiving incorrect information from their student loan officer. For example, only direct loans qualify for the student loan exemption. This means that private loans, Perkins loans, and FFELP loans are not eligible for student loan cancellation.
Do this: If you have FFELP loans, for example, consolidate your FFELP loans into a direct consolidation loan. This process will make your student loans eligible for student loan cancellation, and this process can be completed by the US Department of Education.
3. Bad student loan repayment
To be eligible for student loan cancellation, you must be enrolled in an income-based repayment plan. Many student loan borrowers miss this important requirement and instead choose a student loan repayment plan. Income-based repayment plans include Income-Based Repayment (IBR) or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), for example. Contact your student loans manager to make sure you are enrolled before requesting a public service loan forgiveness.
Do this: It is not enough to be enrolled in an income-based repayment plan. You must make at least the majority of your federal student loan payments while you are enrolled in an income-based repayment plan. Make sure you meet this requirement and plan accordingly.
4. Bad employer
Always remember this golden rule about public service loan forgiveness: it is your employer, not your role, who qualifies you for the public service loan forgiveness. There is a difference. If you are working full time as a teacher in a public school, you would qualify because you are working for a qualified public service employer. However, if you work for a private company that has a state government as a client, it probably won’t count.
Do this: Before you begin your journey to getting a student loan forgiveness, make sure you are working for a qualified public service or nonprofit employer. Don’t guess your employer qualifies. You can use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Tool to determine if your employer qualifies.
If you’re not sure if you qualify for a student loan forgiveness, or if you just don’t expect your student loan cancellation, you are not alone. This is why it is essential to understand all of your student loan repayment options. Here are some popular ways to save money with your student loans: